Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sixty Five Years Later

Today Americans, Canadians, British, and French along with the other Allied countries during World War II remember the sacrifice and bravery of the men that stormed Normandy Beach in France on this date 65 years ago.

I've had the distinct honor of once speaking with a veteran of D Day and that conversation is something that will remain and haunt me the rest of my life. We've all seen accounts on video and in pictures of this bloody day, but to hear someone recall the sights and smells of that day is both vivid and sobering. Most of these men were teenagers, yet to live their own lives,  but they gave up that opportunity so that we call can enjoy these freedoms today.

Being in Virginia, we have a dubious distinction related to D Day. Bedford County where I used to live is also known for having the most men die on that day per capita. Out of thirty men, twenty are believed to have passed that day which is why the D Day Memorial is in Central Virginia. They were part of the Company A 1st battalion 116th infantry. It's believed this outfit was part of Stonewall Jackson's unit during the Civil War. Take a minute to read about them here

I swell with pride at their service, I feel pain and loss knowing they gave so much on this day sixty five years ago. We can never be as great as they, but we can all remember to stop and show our gratitude sixty five years later and beyond.